Capturing the intersection of the birth of hip-hop, punk rock, graffiti, pop art, fashion and underground culture, The Individualist shows the world through the lens of one of New York City’s most prolific street photographers, Ricky Powell. Featuring dozens of never-before-seen photos, it includes portraits of the Beastie Boys, RUN DMC, LL Cool J, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring
and hundreds more, all alongside ordinary people. In the words of Powell’s colleague Bill Adler, “Consider the astonishing range and mix of people captured by Ricky: musicians, actors, artists, comedians, athletes and homeless folks. Boldface names and everyday people. … And, not infrequently, Mr. Ricky Powell himself, well before the age of the selfie. His portfolio embraces humans of every race, gender and age, all of them drawn to New York, NY because it has always been— and remains—the world capital of individualism; a city of maximum freedom and opportunity, equal parts glamour and grit.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Born and raised in New York City, Ricky Powell
is a legendary photographer who specializes in the environmental portrait. He graduated with an AA in Liberal Arts from LaGuardia Community College and a B.S. in Physical Education from Hunter College. Though Powell initially rose to fame because of his relationship with the Beastie Boys, he is well-known for his intimate photographs that have been featured in The New York Times, The New York Post, The Daily News, The Village Voice, TIME, Newsweek, VIBE, The Source, Rolling Stone, and more.
Documenting NYC Street since 1961, Powell’s photographs focus on the organic New Yorker. His photographs simultaneously convey intimacy and detachment, as they provide a unique lens through which the viewer can analyze the mundane. Powell considers the relationship between the photographer and the photograph to be “a chemical connection of some sort”. The connection between Powell and his camera is only further stimulated by Greenwich Village, where he currently resides. As the intrinsic qualities of the photograph have changed since Powell began capturing his moments, so have the subjects; he is now more likely to “photograph strangers in his Greenwich Village neighborhood than multi-platinum hip-hop acts and Downtown art stars.”
Find more by Ricky Powell at rickypowell.com.
Follow Ricky on Instagram @thelazyhustler & Facebook